Nike’s Ekin tattoos – remarkable culture

Nike Ekin
Nike Ekin
[vc_row type=”full_width_content” full_screen_row_position=”middle” column_margin=”default” bg_color=”#000000″ scene_position=”center” text_color=”light” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none” shape_type=””][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” overlay_strength=”0.3″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_row_inner column_margin=”default” top_padding=”8%” bottom_padding=”8%” text_align=”left”][vc_column_inner column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” centered_text=”true” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” column_link_target=”_self” width=”1/2″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” overlay_strength=”0.3″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][image_with_animation image_url=”273908″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In From Bottom” hover_animation=”none” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” image_loading=”default” max_width=”75%” max_width_mobile=”default”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” column_link_target=”_self” width=”1/2″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” overlay_strength=”0.3″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][divider line_type=”No Line” custom_height=”25″][vc_custom_heading text=”A mirrored Nike tattoo.” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:35|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” column_margin=”default” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” top_padding=”7%” bottom_padding=”10%” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none” shape_type=””][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” overlay_strength=”0.3″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column_text]Most of the time Nike gets credit for being a strong brand, an efficient marketing machine, creating breathtaking commercials or being refreshingly innovative (Nike+). Some however, think, the brand as arrogant and out of touch with the streets and sports. Biut then there’s the Nike Ekin tattoos.

Nike company culture

Behind the impressive brand is an even more impressive company culture. I had the luck to spend some time with Nike employees during several Nike projects I did for my previous agency Boondoggle. Nike is a company of memes, stories and remarkable traditions. Take their chief storyteller, Nelson Farris, who collects all stories and memes. Take the inventor of the Nike Air, Frank Rudy. And of course, their numerous athletes, like Steve Prefontaine.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” equal_height=”yes” content_placement=”bottom” column_margin=”default” bg_image=”273895″ bg_position=”center center” bg_repeat=”no-repeat” scene_position=”center” text_color=”light” text_align=”left” enable_gradient=”true” color_overlay_2=”rgba(10,10,10,0.87)” gradient_direction=”left_t_to_right_b” overlay_strength=”0.5″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none” parallax_bg=”true” parallax_bg_speed=”fast” shape_type=””][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” overlay_strength=”0.3″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_row_inner column_margin=”default” translate_y=”-20%” translate_x=”-17%” text_align=”left”][vc_column_inner column_padding=”padding-10-percent” column_padding_position=”all” background_color=”rgba(27,140,181,0.65)” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” column_link_target=”_self” width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” overlay_strength=”0.3″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][nectar_single_testimonial testimonial_style=”bold” color=”Default” quote=”With such ambassadors, you hardly need an advertising campaign.”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”padding-6-percent” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” overlay_strength=”0.3″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][image_with_animation image_url=”273715″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In From Bottom” hover_animation=”none” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” image_loading=”default” max_width=”75%” max_width_mobile=”default”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” column_margin=”default” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” top_padding=”5%” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none” shape_type=””][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” overlay_strength=”0.3″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column_text]

Nike Ekins

But even more, their Ekins. Ekins are official company storytellers employed to evangelise about the Nike brand and its sports technology. Before being unleashed on the world, each “Ekin” (“Nike” spelled backwards) is required to undergo an almost military-like training regime comprising a nine-day rookie camp at Nike’s headquarters in Oregon and a full day’s running at the Hayward field track where Nike-founder Bill Bowerman worked as a track coach. Almost unbelievably, as a further sign of their devotion to the brand, each Ekin is then invited to have the Nike ‘swoosh’ tattooed on their ankle ahead of their ‘graduation’. Talking about employer brand dedication.

I got to meet several Ekins. Amongst them, Bruno Garcia (right on the picture), a New York-based Ekin, might be the most remarkable one. He got the Nike Ekin tattoo (which is the Nike logo backwards, like “Ekin” is “Nike” spelled backwards) as well as Greek goddess Nike’s victory wings on his calves. Futhermore, he is very active within the Hash House Harriers, “a drinking club with a running problem”. Sounds like a foolish fraternity, but the HHH represent more than 1700 chapters throughout the world and have a yearly conference in Asia that assambles more than 17.000 HHH runners. With such ambassadors, you hardly need an advertising campaign.

So, the next time you use Nike as a best practice, please let’s not use it for Nike+, great campaigns or being an awesome brand. Give Nike some credit for being the company with a most remarkable company culture.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

2 comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like
Google Sheets
Yes! I want to learn more

Best practice: Eerily accurate anniversaries

[vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” column_margin=”default” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” top_padding=”0″ bottom_padding=”3%” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none” shape_type=””][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self”…
Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam
Yes! I want to learn more

Kimpton ‘secret password’ to be ‘in the know’

[vc_row type=”full_width_content” full_screen_row_position=”middle” column_margin=”default” bg_image=”273939″ bg_position=”left top” bg_repeat=”no-repeat” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” top_padding=”8%” bottom_padding=”8%” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none” shape_type=””][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding”…
Disney family
Yes! I want to learn more

Best practice: Disney hotel housekeeping rearranges toys to delight kids

[vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” column_margin=”default” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” top_padding=”0″ bottom_padding=”3%” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none” shape_type=””][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self”…